The city in my neighborhood bought a little triagluar empty lot in hopes of making it a park someday. There are not many parks in my neighborhood, so the neighbors have all been waiting to see what would happen on this tiny corner lot. But waiting for something to happen from a government entity is a tedious process.
Recently we have decided to drive this process instead of wait. I have never been involved in city politics. (Though I do have experience in working with schools and corporate politics so I should have had a clue!) What I have learned is that that the noisier you are, the more people listen. (Gee, you think I would have understood that!) Just by organizing the neighbors and putting together a plan, we realized that we could ‘help’ the city prioritize the funding for this park.
We put together a Yahoo group and a LiveBinder to keep the neighbors informed. Then we made flyers and organized meetings where all the neighbors could get together and share their vision.
Next week is the annual prioritization meeting for parks and rec. funds. This week we have organized an email campaign to show the city council just how much our neighborhood wants this park. I kicked off the email campaign on Monday with my own email and was thoroughly impressed to get a follow-up phone call from one of the city council members who is also our former mayor.
One surprising thing to me about this process, was just how hard it was to find the parks and rec. meeting minutes on the city’s website. They are there, but you really need to dig to find them. After spending quite of bit of time unearthing them, I put the relevant pages in the LiveBinder for all the neighbors to read: